Back to school Blues
Today, my little brother who is not so little anymore (he's 16) had his first day back to school today. He is a Junior in high school this year. *Sigh* They grow up so fast. With going back to school on my mind as I start my third year of college in three weeks, I automatically stress about all the studying that comes with the new school year and the semester. This causes me so much anxiety before I even start my classes. For some reason, school has always stressed me out more than anything. I think the reason is because I was never the most academically gifted student growing up. If I wanted to pass a test or quiz, I would have to start studying a week before the exam.
In middle school, I could never quite understand my math homework. I made mistakes on the assignment questions pretty often so my teacher made me spend most of my recess time inside, making corrections on impossible math questions a below average 5th grader could never understand. It was my worst nightmare come true. I was inside, doing homework while all the other kids got to go outside and play during recess. I was crushed. I felt like I didn't receive certain privileges other kids did due to my academic weaknesses which was something I couldn't really help at the age of 10. That was extraordinarily discouraging to me. I felt like I was being punished because I wasn't a good at something.
Throughout middle school and into high school, I wasn't one of those kids who just got good grades and didn't have to study for it. (In fact, I envied those kids.) I wasn't even one of those kids that could get straight A's with average work. I had to work and study during any free time I had and go above and beyond on every assignment, quiz, test, and project, just to receive B's and C's. I was so discouraged. I had consistently though to myself, "Why am I not good enough?". It wasn't like I was a lazy student or even that I was a disobedient student. I just couldn't get it together academically no matter how hard I tried. Little did I know that these experiences and trials were going to become a "blessing in disguise" as said by my extremely wise mother.
Fast forward a few years and into college, and I had to endure strict professors and difficult assignments and tests. I did not have a good first year of college, trying to get used to how professors teach and how I should study. There were even a few people who encouraged me to drop out, quit, or give up and believe me, there were time I wanted to. Trying to succeed in high school was one thing for a struggling student. College is a whole other beast.
Fortunately, at this point, I was already pretty good at studying for test from all the practice I had in high school. By some miracle, I quickly learned to embrace this part of me that wasn't very good academically. Because of it, my study habits had significantly changed and developed as well as my note taking. The beginning of Sophomore year I started to get better grades on homework and tests. I felt more confident in myself at school and the anxiety of homework and test taking disappeared almost instantly. I finished my Sophomore Spring semester with a 3.0 GPA. I had never been more happy with myself. I had finally grasped the ability to study and take notes in a way that would help me succeed in school. And to think, this was all thanks to my experiences and study habits growing up. If I had not struggled in middle school and high school, I would have gone through college not having any idea what I was doing. Now, I am now a pro note taker and studier. I have become more organized and thorough in my notes and study tactics, that test taking is now a breeze. Even my peers at school have noticed and have asked me for help on study tips and tricks.
So much of where I am now and the accomplishment I have received recently come from years of hard work, however, I think I owe quite a bit of my success to my time spent in the library, studying. One of the things I learned through college was that the library is THE BEST place to study. It's quiet and you can relax, and concentrate while you do your work. The library gave me a place to get my assignments done and concentrate on my studying. I will always appreciate the library because of that. I would like to think that the whole takeaway from my experience is that the library is a great place to go. It is a good place to unwind and relax, or get your work done. It is a place you can go just to get away from everything and read a good book. I will always appreciate the library and I encourage everyone who reads this, especially students starting school this fall, to spend your time studying and doing homework in the library because the library after all, is where I started my path to success.
- Brooke Preston (Library Intern)